10/07/15 2:36pm

Approved Plan 1-22-09

Judy Lowe

The public is invited to join the Alexandria City Council for the dedication of the Judy Lowe Neighborhood Park, located at 1 & 7 E. Del Ray Avenue in Alexandria, on Saturday, October 17, at 8:30 a.m. The dedication will be held rain or shine.

Judith “Judy” Utterback Lowe loved Alexandria and the Del Ray neighborhood. She believed intensely in preserving and enhancing a sense of community and was well known as the “First Lady of Del Ray,” because of her involvement in many civic activities. While alive, Judy appreciated the fact that it was a grassroots effort of neighborhood activists who convinced the City to buy the land at 1 & 7 E. Del Ray Ave. for the creation of a neighborhood pocket park.

For additional information, contact Jack Browand with the Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities at 703.746.5504.

(Image via Melanie Lowe Radice)

10/07/15 12:26pm

Metro SmarTrip Card

By January, Metro vending machines will no longer issue paper farecards

paperless-smFor the first time, a customer who pays for their Metro trip at King Street, Huntington, or Franconia-Springfield stations will receive a SmarTrip® card—not a paper fare card—from the 25 upgraded vending machines that went into service this week.

Metro has begun upgrading more than 450 existing fare vending machines to dispense SmarTrip cards rather than paper farecards. The rollout began at Virginia stations along the Blue and Yellow lines earlier this week and, by Friday, all stations from Crystal City to Huntington and Franconia-Springfield will be completed.

Metro plans to discontinue all sales of paper farecards, including bulk sales, when the last machine on the system is upgraded by January. (Paper farecard sales will end at individual Metrorail stations as the machines are upgraded.)

Customers will be able to use any remaining paper farecards to enter and exit the rail system until early March. After that, riders holding paper farecards will still be able to transfer the value from paper to SmarTrip at any rail station or Metro sales office through June 2016.

“SmarTrip is faster, safer, more reliable and less costly than paper fare media,” said Jim Bongiorno, Treasury Technical Manager for Metro. “And eventually, when SmarTrip completely replaces paper farecards, customers will notice the benefits in the form of faster entries and exits at the faregates, and improved reliability with more faregates in service. Meanwhile, Metro expects lower expenses through reduced maintenance costs and the improved efficiency that comes from having a single way to pay.”

SmarTrip technology uses no moving parts, a stark contrast from the highly mechanical system of belts, pulleys, readers and ink stamps that are involved with processing paper farecards. Similar to the issues found in copy machines, paper farecards are prone to getting jammed, which can take a faregate out of service.

Customers receiving a new SmarTrip card at an upgraded vending machine will be charged $2 for the card – the same amount paid in surcharges by riders taking a roundtrip with a paper farecard.

SmarTrip is faster, safer and more convenient than using a paper farecard in several ways:

  • Lower cost. On Metrorail, each trip taken with a SmarTrip card costs $1 less than those taken with a paper farecard. A new SmarTrip card ($2) pays for itself after only one roundtrip, versus using a paper farecard.
  • More secure. SmarTrip cards can be registered online.  If the card is lost or stolen, the unused value can be transferred to a new card.  Paper farecards do not offer the same protections.
  • More durable. Moisture or demagnetization can easily destroy a paper farecard, resulting in a loss of value. SmarTrip cards don’t have these issues.
  • More reliable. SmarTrip uses no moving parts, unlike the highly mechanical and maintenance-prone equipment needed to process paper farecards.
  • Transfer benefits. SmarTrip is also the only way to take advantage of cost-saving transfer options between Metrobus and Metrorail.
  • Set it and forget it. Metro’s newest feature, called Auto Reload, gives SmarTrip users the convenience of having value automatically loaded to their card anytime their balance drops below $10.

Today, more than 90 percent of all Metrorail riders use a SmarTrip card to pay for their trip.

(Photo via Mr Tin DC, on Flickr)

10/07/15 11:15am

You can see our previous reports on ‘Shots Fired’ calls at this link. Question is, Alexandria Police have changed how they report ‘shots fired’ calls to the Alexandria, Virginia community but, are they still occurring?

In the last week or so, I have heard from a great number of readers about hearing gunshots in the Parker Gray community. What do you say readers? Are you still hearing ‘shots fired’ in Alexandria?

(Photo by Robert Gebler, on Flickr)

10/07/15 10:57am

Chinquapin pool

Wish you could give fitness passes a test drive? 30 for 30 is for you!

In the month of October, first-time pass holders can purchase a 30-day fitness pass to Chinquapin Park Recreation Center & Aquatics Facility for just $30. Get access to fitness equipment plus open swim and sauna at a 40% discount available only to City of Alexandria residents.

Thirty day fitness passes must be purchased in-person at Chinquapin Park Recreation Center & Aquatics Facility, located at 3210 King Street in Alexandria, Virginia.

For additional information, call the Chinquapin Park Chinquapin Park Recreation Center & Aquatics Facility at 703.746.5553.

10/07/15 10:50am

Washington Masonic Monument at sunset, Alexandria, Va
We’re glad to have you stop by Red Brick Town! Have a great day, and feel free to discuss any topic you choose in this open thread.

Topics can include what is going on Alexandria, Virginia, Northern Virginia, local politics, or any other local topic of interest, in the comments. An interesting question asked at the most recent City Council debate was do you support restoring the penny fund for affordable housing in Alexandria, Virginia? What are your thoughts on that?

Or, you can simply ask me a question about something going on in Alexandria. You can submit items about whatever you want to talk about – just please keep it clean beloved readers.

(Flickr Pool photo via Bill, on Flickr)

10/07/15 10:32am

Tropical Smoothie Cafe

I’m hearing a franchise owner of Tropical Smoothie Cafe, the popular smoothie and sandwich restaurant which is based out of Florida, is looking hard at a space in the Carlyle neighborhood of Alexandria. Could they be replace the old Robek’s location?

As soon as I hear more, our readers will be the first to know.

10/07/15 10:18am

Check out this home for sale at 1002 Prince Street in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia
This historic 5 bedroom, 3 bath townhouse is for sale right in the heart of Old town Alexandria, Virginia and located at 1002 Prince Street.

Via the listing

1880 Victorian beauty converted into 2 separately metered units. Apt 1 is main & lower level (2 bed/2 full bath w kitchen & living room). Apt 2 is upper level (3 bed/1 full bath w kitchen & living room). Warm wood floors throughout, 2 decorative fireplaces, exposed brick walls, brick patio. Live in 1 & rent 1 or open up doors & treat like single family w nice flow. Tons of charm. Fee simple.

Contact the Realtor at this link if you’re interested in more information about this property.

Looking for a home for rent or for sale in the Alexandria, Virginia area? Click this link to search our real estate listings.

If you have a home to sell or to rent in the Alexandria, Virginia area, consider putting it in front of the areas FASTEST growing audience. Click this link for details.

Check out this home for sale at 1002 Prince Street in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia